Matthew DeSantis – founder of Mybhutan.com

portraitphotoA business strategist and IT specialist by trade, I made the decision to move to the remote Southeast Asian country of Bhutan to consult for their Royal Government, where I began delving into the sphere of socio-economic development.
This resulted in the formation of MyBhutan, a nexus of philanthropic social enterprises designed to establish a platform for developing local working communities and aiding the philanthropic activities of local nonprofit organizations in Bhutan.

MyBhutan’s first social enterprise is Bhutan’s only one-stop travel portal — an industry-wide services platform that provides the fastest, most cost-effective way for tourists to visit the Land of the Thunder Dragon. The platform assists the tourism sector by enhancing industry sustainability, quality of services, and customer demand. The enterprise aids Tarayana Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Her Majesty Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck to protect the vulnerable communities of Bhutan.
His Royal Highness Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck has endorsed MyBhutan.

Where did the idea for Mybhutan.com come from?
While jumping between ministries providing IT and management consulting advice, I stumbled across critical issues constraining Bhutan’s tourism industry. Our team has since developed solutions to resolve these issues, all while creating a channel to support both nonprofits and traditional markets.

Why did you decide to start this business?
I started the business with the intention to improve travellers’ experiences in Bhutan while promoting a model that can be used in various developing countries to foster healthy socio-economic growth in our increasingly globalized world.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I try to make each day different from the last. I believe innovation is directly correlated to exposure.

How does your business differ from your competitors?
MyBhutan is Bhutan’s only industry-wide travel portal. We apply smart technology to offer the highest quality services at the lowest rates available across the industry. We also incorporate many strategies to create more opportunities for Bhutanese to participate in the industry and to support our nonprofit partner, the Tarayana Foundation.

it aims to boost local employment, increase the quality of the local labor force, drive demand to local businesses …

What kind of new trends excites you?
Travel technologies. Between recent developments involving Hyperloop, rockets and alternative energies, travel across the globe is becoming easier than ever before.

What part of your job do you personally find most interesting?
Bhutan. Not only is it the most extraordinary place to absorb a unique culture and environment, it is also on the cusp of a major economic boom. That, coupled with its pioneering government policies, makes our mission to constructively grow Bhutan all the more exciting.

Please describe one of your habit that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Tomorrow, today will be the past. The only constant is the future. I try to always focus on solving problems for the future, not the present. If you focus on the present, you will quickly find yourself in the past.

If it isn’t a secret, could you please describe one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Inclusive growth. Our business model has generated market interest because it aims to boost local employment, increase the quality of the local labor force, drive demand to local businesses, expand local economic opportunity, and automate public/private sector administrative processes.

Make sure there is reason behind your mission that extends beyond the product/service itself

From your perspective, what are the challenges that you have to face as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
Scope creep can become a major distraction. It is important to focus on developing the most critical features of your product/service. Your primary goal should always be to find the cleanest approach to better customer experience. However, customer requirements continuously change. I suggest properly documenting and prioritizing your product/service’s features and constantly analyzing them to maintain the clearest path to your end result.

Do you have any advice/business idea for our readers before they decide to launch their business?
Make sure there is reason behind your mission that extends beyond the product/service itself. A reason that you would dedicate your life to.

What Tools/Apps do you use to growth your business on a daily basis?
Slack and Asana. These tools efficiently enhance communication and manage work items internally.

What is your opinion, which book is a must to read before starting a business and why?
I recommend reading “The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World” to study an interesting perspective on human development and its interaction with our surrounding environment.

Connect:

Website: mybhutan.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mybhutan
Instagram: https://instagram.com/mybhutan/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/mybhutan
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/mybhutan

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